Not surprisingly, Rubens Barrichello has been quick to jump onto his soapbox – and with good reason too – to slam Michael Schumacher’s driving after the Hungarian Grand Prix.
So close were the pair to making contact that Barrichello went onto the grass on the inside of the straight to get by into tenth place and avoid what could have been a serious accident.
Barrichello was unimpressed with Schumacher’s driving.
Speaking with Spanish network La Sexta after the race a fuming Rubens said: “I have a lot of experience and usually with a crazy guy like that I would lift off, but not today, absolutely not.
“I think it has been one of the most beautiful manoeuvres I’ve done and one of the most horrendous from him. At the end of the day we don’t need that.”
Three-time World Champion Niki Lauda also came out in criticism of Schumacher’s driving, and admitted he was perplexed by the German’s overly defensive manoeuvres.
“I cannot understand why he does those things,” the Austrian said.
Schumacher, of course, has seen things differently, and the race stewards were quick to announce that they would be investigating the incident after the race.
“We know certain drivers have certain views and then there is Rubens,” Schumacher told the BBC, clearly referring to the little love lost between them despite being team-mates for six years at Ferrari.
“As a driver, you have the ability to change the line once. That’s what I was driving to. Obviously there was space enough to go through [because he did]. We didn’t touch, so I guess I just left enough space for him to come through.
“I’m known not to give presents on the track. If you want to pass me you have to fight for it, and so it was [here].”
Barrichello’s pace could very much be attributed to his fresher tyres, having made his sole pit stop very late late in the race, whereas Schumacher’s Bridgestone tyres had run some 55 laps already.
“There is not much to say other than he obviously had fresher tyres and my job was to get the last corner spot on,” he continued. “I had a line of about five centimetres that I had to hit and that lap I obviously ran a little wide and started sliding, so my exit speed was a bit compromised.
“I knew that he was coming so, from my point of view, I was moving over to the inside to make it very obvious and clear to him ‘go on the other side, there’s more space for you.’ He didn’t choose to, so it got a bit tight.”
While Schumacher added that he did not expect to receive a sanction from the stewards panel – which includes former Grand Prix driver Derek Warwick on its roster this weekend – it will be interesting to see if they agree with his description of events.
[Original image via AUTOSPORT]